Economic Analysis of Mobile Gear Fishing Within the Proposed Wind Energy
Generation Facility Site on Horseshoe Shoal in Nantucket Sound
Project Summary: The Massachusetts Fishermen's Partnership, Inc.
(MFP) and the University of Rhode Island (URI)completed an economic valuation
of the Horseshoe Shoal area as a mobile gear fishing ground. This
study contradicts the claim by the Minerals Management Agency in its draft
Environmental Impact Statement that Cape Wind would have no significant
impact on the fishery
The MFP/URI study shows a total economic loss of over $8 million dollars
if the project area remains open to mobile gear fishing, but this could
$13 million if the area is ultimately closed. These losses are significant
to the mobile gear fishermen who fish Cape Cod and the Islands.
A mail and telephone contingent valuation survey was conducted to the population
of Massachusetts mobile gear fishermen who held coastal access permits endorsed
with both squid and fluke. This permit with those endorsements grants
exclusive access to mobile gear fish for squid and fluke in Nantucket Sound
and Horseshoe Shoal during specified open fishing seasons.
Forty-eight mobile gear fishermen were contacted by phone or through the
mail. Thirty-four of the forty-eight fishermen contacted said that they annually
fish in the Horseshoe Shoal area of Nantucket Sound and agreed to be interviewed.
The MFP/URI study suggests that the overall level of information provided
in the draft Environmental Impact Statement by the Minerals Management Service
dramatically underestimates the potential impacts of Cape Wind’s proposed
development on commercial fishermen, particularly mobile gear fishermen.